Like many others, as the pandemic wore on this past year, I dabbled in ways to take my mind off the constant barrage of news of rising cases and shuttered businesses. My COVID hobbies included carving hiking staffs from crape myrtle branches (after I outfitted the family, there seemed little reason to soldier on), learning the art of bonsai (but the idea of not encouraging robust growth ran counter to my gardening intuition), and trying my hand at the guitar (tellingly, I broke a string the first time I attempted to tune it). But time at home also strengthened my appreciation for the freedom to hop in a car or on a plane and light out for places unknown.
A few months before the pandemic hit, I found myself at the Patagonia River Ranch in Argentina with a group of Garden & Gun readers. While I’ve been fortunate enough to cast a fly rod for sailfish in Costa Rica, bonefish in the Bahamas, and king salmon in Alaska, this was the trip of a lifetime. As I drifted the river, the scenery alone would have won the day, but the rain-bows and browns hit with abandon, and lunch on the bank beneath the willows with a bottle of malbec was nothing short of dreamy. While the ever-present Patagonian wind rustled the trees, I thought, I need to bring my family here one day.
It’s just that type of escape contributing editor Latria Graham envisioned when she recently journeyed to Bermuda to, as she told me in a text, “find myself again.” (Read about her experiences here.) Many on the staff have that same feeling of wanderlust and the yearning for self-discovery that comes with travel. Art director Julia Knetzer hopes to visit friends in Ireland this year, a trip she’s long dreamed about. Photo editor Margaret Houston Dominick wants to take advantage of Western France’s surfing and vineyard scene. And deputy editor David Mezz and his fishing buddies are planning to load up their kayaks and explore the waters of the New River in Virginia. I imagine you’re feeling that same itch to hit the proverbial road, and I’m hopeful this issue will inspire your own adventure soon.